Journal article

Race to the top: using experiments to understand gender bias towards female politicians

Andrea Carson, Leah Ruppanner, Jenny M Lewis

Australian Journal of Political Science | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2019


Gender balance in political representation is an important goal of governments. In this paper, we ask: Do voters judge female politicians less favourably than male politicians, when given an otherwise identical set of information about their backgrounds? We employ an innovative online experiment (N = 1933) to measure Australians’ attitudes towards female politicians and examine a series of hypotheses. We find voters see female candidates as more capable and are more likely to vote for them, but they are less likely to expect them to win. Female candidates are seen as more capable in their military and healthcare roles, but gender is perceived to be a major barrier to a female candidate’s suc..

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